Oh, Donna!

A few weeks of inconvenience in the kitchen, utility and bathroom gives one pause to contemplate the things we take for granted.

Such as running water. Which brings to mind my friend Donna who moved in 1991 to the Strawberry Mountains just out of John Day, Oregon.

For three weeks this spring, we were extremely aware of how much water we used and where it went after we had used it. (A septic tank with no drain field fills up fast.)

Donna and her husband lived in a 19x19 cabin for 3 years with no running water.

Dishwashers can easily devour 500 gallons every month. I scraped, wiped, and artfully arranged our dirty fare until I had a completely full load. I have a “water-miser” cycle so I was not going to ‘sink’ to hand washing,

Donna had to carry water in to heat on her wood stove to wash her dishes. And carry dirty water back out.

To save on laundry we wore our ‘workin clothes’ until they could follow us through the door on their own. I refused to use the Laundromat, ‘cuz I’ve seen what people throw into those machines. I washed a few necessary things. My grandmother would roll over in her grave if she thought we wore dirty underwear.

Donna drove 21 miles down a curvy mountain road to do her laundry; then she took them home wet and hung them on an outside clothesline.

I hated that 70’s rhyme then and I hate it now: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” And I’m not that crazy about our ultra low flush toilets either. I held it until I got to the office.

Donna had an outhouse. Please, no details!!

How many gallons did I push during the once daily shorty shower (get wet, soap up, rinse off.) I had to sigh and ignore our 70-gallon sani-jet tub. It looked mighty invitin’ especially after sawing limbs and feeding the smaller stuff through the chipper. (Thanks Bobby, for letting us use that.)

Donna had a solar bag. She could also heat water on the wood stove. Then she stood in a special shower her hubby rigged up with a curtain hanging from pcv pipe. The 2nd summer her husband brought home an antique cowboy tub and set in under the pine trees. Isn’t that a Levitra Commercial?

When the work was wrapped up on our new septic system I ran through the house and got dizzy just watching the water run down the drain.

What inconveniences? Donna remembers it as the happiest time of her life.


Karmyn R said…
I love my hot soak baths - I guess I could do what Donna did - but only if I ABSOLUTELY had to - and I would probably complain the entire time. WHY, DONNA, WHY?
Masago said…
Wow am I ever living easy!
theotherbear said…
Well I am not sure I'd like not having long hot showers. But I'd rather be happy than have hot showers. So I'd say she was on a good thing :)
Beccy said…
It sounds idylic to me but whether I could live like that 24/7 I don't know.
Anonymous said…
I would like to bathe under the trees.


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